LA QUINTA, Calif. -- It's a case of give and take.
Sandy Sanderson offered that answer when investors at the
Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium
here Tuesday asked if the slowing economy was having an impact on the software giant's sales.
"Some companies are doing more due diligence around their investments, which in the end might slow the sales cycle," said Sanderson, an Oracle executive vice president who's responsible for the company's B2B initiatives, among other areas. "But there are other companies that see the power of the Internet who are actually accelerating their decisions."
As an example, he said one recent deal he's involved in wasn't scheduled to close until Oracle's fourth quarter, which ends in May. Instead, that deal should now close shortly.
"I met with the COO and he decided he wanted to do it in February," Sanderson said.
Oracle's stock has been having a rough time lately. Last week,
concerns cropped up that the company is having a slow fiscal third quarter in database sales. Its stock closed Tuesday down 44 cents, or 1.9%, at $22.56. It's is off 34% since its recent high of $34.09, reached Jan. 11.
Sanderson said its database and application software businesses are strong.
"Actually, our pipelines around applications and database have never been stronger," Sanderson said. "That continues to be the case. Some deals evolve over time by the quarter. In some cases, they may move to the next quarter, but we're seeing very few deals that fall out completely."
Sanderson addressed another issue that's dogged the company lately, since Ray Lane left his post as president last summer, and CEO heir-apparent Gary Bloom
bolted in the fall to run Oracle's Silicon Valley neighbor,
. Sanderson said the team that's in place at Oracle under CEO Larry Ellison is strong and experienced.
"I've been at Oracle for six years, and I'm a junior member, in that sense, though I run about 25% of the business," Sanderson said. "But when you look at it from a company perspective, the Little Larry's average tenure is 10 years. That gives you a sense of how long we've been around as a management team."
Insider selling by Ellison has also hung on Oracle's stock lately. But Sanderson said the CEO had to sell shares recently because they were tied to options that would expire if he didn't. But Sanderson couldn't address the subsequent scuttlebutt in the market that Ellison, who has a penchant for jets and sailing yachts, was selling the shares to buy a new boat.
"You know, we don't talk about that stuff," Sanderson said. "It's amazing, when you're with Larry, all he does is work."
Both he and Sanderson have a lot of work to do to get the company's stock back up.